12,000 years of crooked teeth

Dr. Tiffany Shields at Smiles by Shields offers comprehensive dental care from the first steps in cavity prevention to regular prophylaxis all the way through treatments dealing with periodontal disease and cosmetic dentistry. This month only, experience $800 off Invisalign treatments!

Invisalign offers solutions for straightening teeth without braces. Malaligned teeth haven’t always been a problem for humans, however. The earliest hunter-gatherers had almost no malocclusion and dental crowding, and the condition first became common among the world’s earliest farmers some 12,000 years ago in Southwest Asia.

An international team of scientists reviewed the lower jaws and teeth crown dimensions of 292 archaeological skeletons aged 28,000-6,000 years old. They noted marked differences between European hunter-gatherers, Near Eastern/Anatolian semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers and transitional farmers, and European farmers, based on the form and structure of their jawbones.

The link between chewing, diet, and related dental wear patterns is well documented. So the next time you’re considering whether to improve upon your overcrowded teeth with a straighter smile through options like Invisalign, keep in mind that straight teeth were once the norm for homo sapiens.  Contact the team at Smiles by Shields for more information on how to achieve a straighter, more functional smile today!


University College Dublin. (2015, February 4). Malocclusion and dental crowding arose 12,000 years ago with earliest farmers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 16, 2015 from


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